by Michael Lowrey
To the tune of $2.9 million in incentive money. From the UPoR:
Commissioners Chairwoman Pat Cotham said questions about the timing of the incentives vote started to enter her mind when news broke that the company had picked North Carolina and media events were arranged – only two days after the commissioners voted. Later, she learned that some MetLife executives had already been picking out schools and colleges for their children.
“In my opinion, the deal was done when we first learned of it and voted for incentives,” Cotham, a Democrat, wrote in her first email to commissioners on Saturday.
Let’s be clear what’s happening here: MetLife is another company in less than-perfect financial condition that is looking to downsize its headcount and otherwise reduce expenses. Which is exactly why a major relocation to Charlotte and Cary makes sense. MetLife won’t be too upset if a lot of its employees choose not to move from the high cost-of-living Northeast to Charlotte — that would allow the company to hire replacements locally at lower wages.
And was St. Louis ever really an option for MetLife? Probably not.
So yeah, MetLife decides to move south, and then played overeager state and local pols that didn’t do their due diligence for a ton of cash. Which is a story sadly we’ve heard all too often before.